Early stage regional startups reap investments

CAIRO: Early stage startups reaped significant investments throughout the week in a demonstration of high investor confidence across multiple sectors in the Middle East and North Africa.

UAE-based agritech startup Crysp Farms successfully raised $2.25 million in a pre-series A funding round led by Gate Capital which saw participation from other regional investors from the UAE and Saudi Arabia.  
Founded in 2019 by Maan Said, Crysp Farms specializes in building and operating onsite hydroponic farms.  
These farms serve a range of clients, including hospitality groups, healthcare facilities, restaurants, and hypermarkets. Their approach to farming emphasizes sustainable and efficient food production.
“This financial and strategic investment opens up opportunities and enables the business to scale exponentially across our target markets. Through our partner relationships, we are eager to create a more sustainable world through hyperlocal farming,” Said said.
The latest funding round is poised to propel Crysp Farms’ growth strategy which will focus on scaling the company’s operations across the region, specifically Saudi Arabia, and fulfilling committed international contracts.

Egyptian ed tech startup Edura raises pre-seed round

Edura, an Egypt-based educational technology startup, has successfully closed an undisclosed pre-seed funding round led by Smart Zone Startups Studio, alongside contributions from various angel investors.
Founded in 2021 by Osama Abdelwahed, Edura operates as an interactive educational platform, designed to bridge the gap between teachers and students. It facilitates this connection through both recorded and live interactive lessons, offering a versatile learning environment.
“With the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, the education sector witnessed a significant transformation and a pressing need for educational platforms that combine traditional and modern methods,” Abdelwahed, CEO of Edura, stated.
The infusion of new capital is set to propel Edura’s growth trajectory as it plans to utilize the funds to expand its operations, enhance its development team, and invest in research and innovation within the educational technology sector.

Qatar’s Karty secures $2m seed funding for fintech expansion
KARTY, a Qatar-based fintech startup, has successfully secured a seed funding round of $2 million from local investors.  
The company, co-founded in 2021 by Mohammed Suleiman and Abdulaziz Al-Marri, offers an e-wallet solution that simplifies financial asset and savings management for both individuals and companies through its user-friendly app.
“We are immensely proud of the trust our investors have placed in KARTY. Their belief in our vision to provide innovative solutions for managing financial assets through our e-wallet is exhilarating,” Suleiman said.
This funding round is a significant milestone for KARTY, setting the stage for its official launch.  
The inauguration follows the receipt of approval from Qatar Central Bank and the establishment of partnerships with key local institutions, including Qatar Foundation, Qatar Development Bank, and Qatar FinTech Hub, as well as Masraf Al Rayan.  
Additionally, KARTY has forged connections with global entities like Visa, enhancing its reach and capabilities in the fintech sector.

DXwand closes $4m series A round
DXwand, an artificial intelligence startup with offices in Egypt and UAE, has completed a $4 million series A funding round led by Shorooq Partners and Algebra Ventures, along with contributions from the Dubai Future District Fund, an existing investor.  
Founded by Ahmed Mahmoud and Mahmoud Gomaa in 2018, DXwand offers AI-driven software that automates text and voice interactions between customers and businesses across various channels, including call centers, social media platforms like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, SMS, and websites.
Following a pre-series A funding of $1 million in June 2022, led by Huashan Capital and US-based VC firm SOSV, along with angel investors, this new round of funding will enable DXwand to expand its reach in the region.  
The investment will also accelerate the company’s research and development in key areas such as generative AI, knowledge mining, and omnichannel conversational AI, further enhancing their AI-driven solutions for customer engagement.

Paymob partners with Mastercard to enhance  digital payments in MENA
Paymob, a major financial services provider in the Middle East, North Africa, and Pakistan, has formed a strategic partnership with Mastercard to expand digital payment acceptance across the MENA region.
This collaboration combines Paymob’s payment infrastructure with Mastercard’s technology, aiming to increase the adoption of low-cost digital payment solutions among micro, small, and medium-sized enterprises in key markets.  
The agreement focuses on implementing solutions like Tap on Phone, e-commerce gateways, and payment links, targeting previously underserved businesses.  
This initiative aligns with Mastercard’s goal to digitize 50 million small businesses by 2025 and supports Paymob’s commitment to empowering MSMEs in the digital economy.  

UAE’s Cypher Capital
co-leads $2.4m investment in German blockchain firm bitsCrunch Cypher Capital, a crypto investment firm based in the UAE, has recently co-led a $2.4 million investment round in bitsCrunch, a blockchain company from Germany.  
Founded in 2021 by Gopi Kannappan, Saravanan Jaichandaran, and Vijay Pravin Maharajan, bitsCrunch specializes in providing multi-chain insights and forensics for NFTs and digital assets, positioning itself as a key player in global data analytics.
As an early-stage venture firm with a focus on crypto, blockchain, and digital asset-related projects worldwide, Cypher Capital’s investment in bitsCrunch reinforces its commitment to fostering innovative web3 infrastructure and applications.  

Morocco’s Crealo secures $1.42m seed funding  
Crealo, a Morocco-based copyright-management platform, has successfully raised $1.42 million in a seed funding round led by the 212Founders program under CDG Invest, with participation from Kima Ventures, Evolem, Super Capital, and angel investors.  
Founded in 2021 by Mohammed Belghiti and Najlae Zeitouni, Crealo offers a digital solution for cultural and creative institutions to manage copyrighted materials.
The platform, which already serves notable users like Palais de Tokyo and Beaux Arts Magazine, will use this new capital to enhance its product quality, develop new partnerships, and expand its team.

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